I am one of those people who cannot work in silence. I have always incorporated music into my classroom whether it be just for background noise, or to enhance our lesson plan. A few years ago I subscribed to Spotify Premium which I definitely did not regret. My first year teaching, I used Pandora, but quickly got annoyed at the interrupting ads.
I created a classroom playlist that I continuously add to whenever I hear catchy (but appropriate) songs that not only do I think my students would enjoy- but I will love hearing as well. After all, as the teacher, you are the one spending the most time in your classroom! I set mine up by creating a “Classroom Mixes” folder under my Spotify playlists. I keep one playlist as songs to review. This is where I add songs on the fly (ones that I hear on the car’s radio, or out in public, but do not have time to preview). You would be surprised how many songs make it on the radio but are not fully censored! After I listen to them fully, and Google the lyrics, I will add them into my “Classroom Playlist”.
Last school year, I added a student suggestion box to my classroom where students can leave me suggestions for songs that they would like to hear on the playlist. I purchased a raffle/ballot box of Amazon in green to match Spotify’s logo.
I made the label in Word and then cut it down to size so that it would fit into the clear window.I usually leave a basket of scrap papers next to it where students can write their suggestions, and I check it at the end of each month and then add them to the “Preview” playlist and review at my leisure.
My students know that they are allowed to make suggestions as long as the song is “school appropriate” and only after they have finished their assignment and cleaned up. So far, my students have really enjoyed giving their input into our playlist and love that I value their opinions. Music is a great way to bond with your students!
If you are looking for a place to start- you can check out my classroom’s Spotify playlist and create your own! Feel free to select/drag any or all of the songs included in my playlists!